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Columbia police officer and Marine veteran dies during fitness training, chief says

State - 9/26/2022

The Columbia Police Department is mourning the death of one of its officers.

Master Police Officer Tyrell Owens-Riley died Saturday, police said in a news release.

“It was with a heavy heart that Columbia Police Chief (Skip) Holbrook shares the passing of a dedicated police officer,” the release said.

Owens-Riley suffered a medical emergency while participating in a Columbia police SWAT assessment, according to the release.

During the physical fitness training portion of the assessment, Owens-Riley got sick and was taken to a hospital in downtown Columbia where he suffered cardiac arrest and could not be revived, police said.

The Columbia native was a member of the Columbia Police Department for more than 7 years and was most recently assigned as a patrol officer in Metro Region, according to the release.

Prior to joining the Columbia police, Owens-Riley “served with distinction with the United States Marine Corps,” police said.

Flags at Columbia Police Headquarters were lowered to half staff Saturday in memory of Owens-Riley, and his patrol car was draped in black along with mourning flower bouquets.

No funeral arrangements have been publicly released.

“Our prayers and support are with the family of Master Police Officer Tyrell Owens-Riley and the Columbia Police Department,” the Lexington Police Department said on Twitter.

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